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Joannie Tansky is a freelance writer and author of two books, Girl Meets G-d, the Gift of Being a Jewish Woman and The Big Jewish Mama’s Cookbooks. She writes a bi-weekly political blog entitled The Blanche Report.
How wonderful it would be if those in power who took advantage of it got their comeuppance? And if those in opposition, who were decent human beings, with morals and values, defeated the former.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t quite work that way. The good guys don’t always win. Sometimes they can’t get their point across. Sometimes they get bad advice. And sometimes it’s just not in the cards.
In Andrew Scheer’s case, he’s the good guy who didn’t win and because of that, has become a pariah in his party. A double whammy.
I have never worked in a government position nor have I ever been elected to one. I am and have been a political junkie since Watergate, closely following both Canadian and American politics, and am lucky to have insiders keep me abreast of the most current news. I also write a news blog.
Spoiler alert here: Andrew Scheer ate in our home two years ago and we got to know him. He’s a really nice guy. Period. He’s not obnoxiously ambitious but can fight for what he believes in with the best of them. He’s not “into” social media. He doesn’t really like taking selfies. They make him uncomfortable. I understand all of the above as that’s how I am.
Did he run the best campaign in the last election? No. He needed to be much firmer in his convictions. He needed not to be afraid to speak his mind. If you ask me what the worst moment in his campaign was, I would say it was in the first English debate when he went after Justin on the first question.
I could hear his handlers telling him to say what a lowlife Trudeau was and to recount all his escapades from Mr. Dressup in India to JWR and the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Timing, as they say, is everything. And Andrew’s timing was off. That I blame squarely on his campaign manager and those coaching him.
I, who am very far from telling anyone how to prepare for a debate, saw the flaws in what Andrew was doing. Why could I see that he’s not a natural in front of a microphone and his inside people didn’t?
So now, because he didn’t win, Andrew is getting punished. Make no mistake. The media is eating this up and you can bet they want him to stay on until April so they won’t have to dig for news. The media was not his friend during the campaign, and they are more than happy to dump on him now.
I am part of Andrew’s base. I campaigned for him during the election and heard more times that I can count, who exactly is this guy Andrew Scheer? He looks like a nice person, but we don’t know him. We’re most probably not voting. And that’s what happened in my riding in Quebec. For the first time that I can remember, we were down by 8,000 votes, mainly because people just didn’t go vote.
The big question is what does the Conservative party do now? Dump Andrew? Find a “saviour”? There will most likely be an election in two years or less. Does that give a new leader time enough to land, tour the country and make inroads with the money people?
As a thinking Conservative, as someone who believes in what the party stands for, I believe that Andrew should be given another kick at the can, with a few caveats.
What was very evident during the campaign was that as soon as people met Andrew, in small crowds, they liked him. That feeling has to come across via cameras. “Someone” has to take Andrew away for two weeks and train him to be himself in front of a camera, large crowds or in a debate. As life has taught me, people who are nice are nice everywhere. People who are bullies are bullies everywhere. Andrew has much to offer Canada and that’s the message that has to come through.
As for his personal/political stance on both same-sex marriage and abortion again as a Conservative I stand with him. Live your life as you choose but allow me please, to live my life as I choose. Our last five Prime Ministers had these views and they got elected.
Justin Trudeau in 2011 said he was personally opposed to abortion but supported a woman’s right to choose it. Ralph Goodale opposed same sex marriage before he supported it as did many members of the current Liberal caucus.
Andrew’s views just did not resonate with the voters. When he responded to questions, he was either too wimpy or too angry. There was nothing in between. Whoever his new campaign manager is, listen up: There’s a middle ground here and it’s called sincere, something that oozes from every part of Andrew’s being. That is what has to get across to Canadians.
I can almost hear conservatives out there saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Put the knives away and read this headline: Andrew Scheer is not an old dog. He’s not even middle-aged. He’s young and can learn and what he has to overcome is not rocket science.
Andrew is a sincere person. He’s real and would be a much, much better Prime Minister than what we have now. Instead of dividing ourselves which leads to a weakened party, let’s stand behind our leader, support him and let him shine. The diamond is rough but can still be polished.